Thursday, June 30, 2016

#694 ROBOTS, SPACESHIPS AND OTHER TIN TOYS (THE TERUHISA KITAHARA COLLECTION)


First I have to say that this is not exactly a book you read. It has exactly 3 pages with text, in which the author explains a couple of things about his collection. Mr Teruhisa Kitahara has established 7 museums in Japan and is a renowned and famous toy collector in his country.

The rest of the book (it has around 350 pages) are just (impressive) full page pictures of toys (photographed by Yukio Shimizu). There is a big chapter dealing only with robots and spaceships, and two shorter chapters dealing with cars and figures & scenarios.

The photos are impressive, because the toys themselves are amazing. Rare and mint pieces of toys from the 1920´s to the 1970´s, most of them from Japanese brands like: Nomura, Yonezawa, Line Mar, Horikawa, Bandai, Masudaya, Daiya... The fascination of Japan with robots comes since a long time. In the 10th issue of Figuras En Acción I wrote about robots, and there I learnt how the Japanese toy industry was created after WW2 and how they manufactured for American companies like Cragstan. This part is not in the book, if you want to learn more about Japanese tin robots, you´ll need another book, this one is only to look at and find marvelous old toys.

While watching it, I actually though of my recent visit to the Toy Museum in Singapore, that also features a great collection of toys, with one floor of their building dedicated only to robots and space toys.

So, I recommend the book for people who are interested in curious toys, but with the remark, that there is nothing to read about history or any interesting facts about the toys. Each toy has its name, the toymaker company and the decade in which it was built. In two particular cases, I detected that the deccade was wrong: in the car chapter, there are two different James Bond´s Aston Martin DB5 (from the Goldfinger movie), and they are both dated 1950s... while the movie is from 1964, if I recall properly.

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